tv Nixon Presidential Library and Museum Re- Opening Ceremony CSPAN April 22, 2017 1:10am-2:03am EDT
touch screens and video of nixon's speeches and his eventual departure from the white house. here's the reopening ceremony. it's 50 minutes. >> and for today's invocation, please welcome monsignor lawrence baird, pastor of our lady of mount carmel church in newport beach. his presence today honors the late don bendetty, former chairman of the nixon foundation board and a parishioner at our lady of mount carmel. don and his lovely wife dorothy will be joining us today. have been devoted friends and supporters for over 25 years working with president nixon. and ark techs, don oversaw the construction of the original library, including the restoration of the president's birtsz place. ladies and gentlemen, monsignor lawrence baird.
>> almighty god, how good it is for us to come together as one as we dedicate this historic museum and library which houses a repository of the history of the years of the presidency of richard nixon. we invoke your blessing upon us. citizen volunteers and leaders of our county and state and country, the desire to build an america where freedom, opportunity, prosperity, and civil society flourish. we pray for the leaders and citizens of our great republic for all the men and women who are called to serve the american people and judgment decisions and actions affect our nation's destiny. may our leaders have the wisdom to seek your guidance and the courage to do your will. lord, we know that our country was founded and forged in prayer. we thank you for blessing america throughout our history with great leaders with men and women who like president nixon in triumph and in tragedy sought to do what was pleasing in your sight.
we think back to the year 1775 when the brave members of the continental congress met in philadelphia aware that the fate of a noble experiment lay in their hands. but they knew that they didn't carry that burden alone. ben franklin told that esteemed gathering truly our first order of business as a congress is to ask the protection and guidance of almighty god. our founding fathers called for a day of fasting and prayer throughout the 13 colonies that the people would pray for them and that god would lead them to do what was best and right. within the year, a new nation was born, a nation destined to lead the world in the paths of freedom, opportunity, justice, and righteousness. we think back to 1861 to the newly elected president of a troubled nation. abraham lincoln experienced a tearful farewell when he left his home in illinois for the nation's capital. before boarding a train, he spoke these poignant words. my friends, i leave with you this request. pray for me.
i leave now not knowing when or whether i may ever return with a task before me greater than that which rested on president washington. without the assistance of that divine being whoever attended him i cannot succeed. with that assistance, i cannot fail. we ask you then lord to stay in the year of our lord 2016 in this. year of election to send your holy spirit upon america and those who love her that we may raise our hearts and voices in one refrain to you, oh, god and we give you thanks for these united states of america. protect and encourage our men and women in the military who are sentinels of peace and bastions of freedom in the face of terrorism and enemies of our nation. give restful rest to peace, to president and mrs. nixon whose mortal remains lie in the sacred soil. god bless us everyone and god bless america. [ applause ]
>> please be seated. thank you, monsignor baird for that beautiful invocation. wow. what a great day and thank you for all coming. this first begin with a round of applause for all those who are participating in this exciting occasion. dr. art bartner and the usc trojan marching band for their spectacular performance. [ applause ] they joined us today to honor our wonderful and beloved first lady pat nixon who attended usc and graduated grade cum laude in 1937. janine sang, thank you for that beautiful rendition of the star spangled banner. she is a singer and motivational speaker and holds the distinction of singing the national anthem in all 50 states. thank you to the blue eagles honor guard. [ applause ]
blue eagles honor guard from march air force base for its presentation of the colors. and if things work out, that could be the flyover that's been held for weather. yeah. timing is everything. a special thank you to the commemorative air force for that magnificent flyover that was scheduled earlier. as a tribute to president during the second world war, the flyover was to have two pt-22s, the trainer aircraft used by the u.s. navy and a c-53 sky trooper that just overflew otherwise known as a d-day doll which flew missions in normandy on d-day.
we have several alumni from the nixon administration here today. please give them a hearty welcome. [ applause ] we are pleased to welcome over 30 federal, state, and local elected officials joining us, maybe the 22 is coming over now. 30 federal state and local elected officials joining us today ripping constituencies all across southern california. thank you very much for being here. [ applause ] and we must thank all the tremendous financial support that we've had to make this richard nixon centennial legacy campaign a success. thank you. in may, 2016 just a few months ago, we paid tribute to three outstanding couples who spearheaded the way to making the new library and making this day possible. please join me in welcoming and
thanking ambassador george arduos, doctor and mrs. james cavanaugh, and mr. and mrs. fred malek. last but certainly not least, we'd like to recognize and honor our nation's veterans who as president nixon said in serving god and country having sought not glory for themselves but peace and freedom for all. as a special tribute to all those serving or who have served, honorably in the armed forces, the university of southern california trojan marching band will play the armed forces medley. when you hear the hymn of your branch of the service, please stand and be recognized. art, take it away.
thank you. very special. ladies and gentlemen, it is my honor and privilege to introduce the eldest daughter of president and first lady nixon, tricia nixon-cox. >> thank you. and welcome to the richard nixon library and museum and birthplace. today, we celebrate the opening of the meticulously researched historically accurate new addition of the library. thank you so much for being here. you make this special day even more special. and i'm so glad we can share it together. since its dedication in 1990, the library's goal has been to promote insight into the life
and times of the 37th president. there are extraordinary friends here today whose vision and generosity inspired and made possible the library's new galleries and technologies that are designed to enhance every visitor's experience at the library. my mother and father would be so honored that you are promoting the legacy as an example for generations to come. and my family and i are truly grateful. [ applause ] my father was born in a house his father built, and when people visit the little house here on the grounds of the library, they can sense what a loving and hard working family lived there a century ago. and they can envision the child
richard who heard a train whistle in the night and dreamed of far away places he longed to visit. and they can understand that even in america, land of freedom, opportunity, and respect for the individual, what my father said is true. it was a long way from yorba linda to the white house. it was. [ applause ] when my father was 11 years old, his teacher asked each student in the class to write an answer to the question, what do you want to be or do when you grow up? my father wrote that he wanted to help the people. that spirit characterized young richard's dream and guided him
through the tumultuous times in which he lived. from military service in the navy during the second world war to congressman, senator, vice president, president, and elder statesman, his life was a tapestry of accomplishments to make a safer and better america and world. a journey through the library is a journey through the history of the second half of the 20th century, an era that has been described as the age of nixon. that will history includes the herder committee, missions abroad for president eisenhower, promoting minority businesses, desegregation of schools in the south, title 9, bringing women into high positions of responsibility in government, a matter of simple justice,
lowering the voting age to 18, ending the military draft, protecting the environment. restoring sacred land to native americans, orchestrating a bold journey of peace across 16,000 miles and two decades of noncommunication that became known as the week that changed the world. [ applause ] hard-headed detente with the soviet union, peace with honor in vietnam, the airlift that saved israel during the yom kippur war. [ applause ] the war on cancer and bridges to human dignity. my father's own words describe the philosophy by which he lived. he said, we must seize the moment, not just for ourselves but for others.
only if this becomes a better world for others will it be a better world for us. and only when we participate in a cause greater than ourselves can we be fully true to ourselves. to me, my father will always be the idealistic leader climbing the steep and craggy mountain of the real world to reach the summit in order to help make a positive difference in the world. thank you, and i hope that your journey through the new nixon library will be as special as you are. [ applause ] and now, i have the honor of introducing a remarkable long-time friend of the nixon family whose service to the nation is matched by his sterling character.
his integrity and courage are universally respected. as chairman of the richard nixon foundation board, he brings the most admirable leadership. no one served the nixon administration better than ron walker, and none is a more effective advocate for its legacy than he. he literally wrote the book on coordinating a president's trips and he served as the head of our great system of national parks. but perhaps his greatest accomplishment was to lead the team that coordinated my father's historic trip to the people's republic of china. it is a privilege to know him and his fine family. please welcome the one and only ron walker. [ applause ] >> thank you.
>> i see too many of my friends in these first three or four rows and to all of you, i welcome you to the president's library. first of all, i would like for you to join me in recognizing our wonderful docents who are assembled over here and we applaud them. honored guests on the podium, mr. archivist, henry, melanie, tricia, christopher, thank you, pal. i appreciate it so very much. none of us would be here if it weren't for the vision and leadership of one great man. it is a privilege and honor and
a great responsibility to chair the board of president nixon's foundation. and to promote the causes for which he devoted his life. that life is an uncommon example of resilience, service and dedication. that life is an example of a man who dared greatly, accomplished mightily, and never gave up. [ applause ] i'm very proud of the partnership we have forged with the national archives to tell this remarkable story. their collaboration in this effort has brought history alive throughout the galleries and the interactives of the new nixon library. his yellow pads, conversations with world leaders, strategic memos to top advisors, but this opening of the new nixon library
is only just the beginning of an aggressive new outreach programs and initiatives that the nixon foundation will launch over the next several years. the mission of this library is not only teach the lessons of the past but to help shape the future. we're taking american history and civics to an entirely new generational development educational modules to use in schools and on site at the nixon library. we're launching an annual global affairs forum set and chock full of interesting informative discussions bringing together top political and historical thought, leaders and policymakers. we're offering a new internship and scholarship programs that will begin expanding the formal regular partnerships with colleges and universities not only in this area but around the world. we are continuing president
nixon's commitment to our military by launching initiative to help our brave men and women transition from active duty into civilian life, and that's very important to me. [ applause ] president nixon once said that if leaders of one age are to furt further than their predecessors it is because they stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before. president nixon was a rare statesman who saw and reached far in service to his country. after touring this new nixon library, you'll better understand why he was a visionary. thank you. [ applause ] >> hello. it is now my responsibility to introduce the archivist of the united states of america, the
honorable david ferriero. [ applause ] >> thank you, ron, and greetings from washington. i'm honored to be here this morning to celebrate the reopening of the newly redesigned museum here at the richard nixon presidential library and museum. on january 19th, 1934, franklin roosevelt signed the bill into law which created the national archives and the position of archivist of the united states and our mission is to collect, protect and preserve the records of the united states government and make them available so that the american people can hold its government accountable for its actions and to study our past. we're the final destination for the most important records of the country. and we also administer the network of presidential libraries from herbert hoover in west branch, iowa to george w. bush in dallas, texas, 13 presidential libraries. as you know, presidential
libraries are not libraries in the usual sense. they're archives and museums bringing together the documents and artifacts of a president, his administration and his family and presenting them to the public for study and within discussion without regard for political considerations or affiliations. the intent from the beginning was to have the presidential libraries located throughout the country where scholars and school children could learn about their government, the presidency and service in government. and dedicating his own library, franklin roosevelt captured the essence of the mission. he said to bring together the records of the past and to house them in buildings where they will be preserved for the use of men and women in the future, a nation must believe in three things. it must believe in the past, it must believe in the future, it must above all believe in the capacity of its own people so to learn from the past that they can gain in judgment in creating their own future.
the nixon presidential library joined the national archives in 2007 and today houses president nixon's presidential and family materials. in this collection has lived up to president nixon's vision of the library as a place of discovery and rediscovery, investigation, debate, and analysis. since 1990, more than a million visitors have experienced the life and times of the nixon years, and several thousand researchers have mined the collections in the generation of new scholarship on the man and his impact on our country. and i wish to thank the library staff here in yorba linda whose tireless efforts day in and day out helped to maximize our value to the nation, improve the experience of our researchers and visitors and allow access to and ensure the protection of our valued holdings and a special thanks, yes -- [ applause ]
and a special thanks to those who is work directly on the new galleries being dedicated today. i'd also liking to express my appreciation to the richard nixon foundation for their leadership in overseeing the successful campaign for this effort and the for the expertise they contributed to this unique public/private partnership. without strong partnerships with the presidential foundations, the national archives and the presidential libraries would be unable to deliver the rich programming and museum experiences now being enjoyed by millions of visitors across the country each year. i'd also like to thank the family of president nixon especially those are here with us today express my sincere appreciation for their support of the nixon presidential library and museum. [ applause ] and lastly, i thank all of you for coming this morning and recognizing the support this
library receives from this wonderful southern california community. it is deeply appreciated. on the 16th of july in 1990, standing on this very spot when dedicating this library and museum, the president provided a preview of the new facility to the gathered audience. he said inside you will learn about a personal life, a political life, and a life of a great nation. he continued, i hope you will remember that while the past is interesting, it is important only in so far that it points the way to a better future. words as relevant today as they were then. i know all of you will enjoy these new exhibits which are offer a fresh and compelling look into the life and times of our 37th president and as we do so, all of us can be proud to know that we played a role in sharing these pivotal moments in our nation's history with future generations of americans for centuries to come. it's now my pleasure to be introduce mr. fred malek,
chairman of the richard nixon centennial legacy campaign who was charged with raising $25 million to create the new nixon library and educational initiatives. a west point graduate and army raunger -- ranger in vietnam, fred was in the nixon and bush 41 administrations, in a variety of important roels before becoming president and ceo of marriott hotels, president and ceo of northwest airlines and co-chairman of the cbre group. he is the founder of that ier lodgian group which he still chairs. ladies and gentlemen, fred malek malek. [ applause ] david, thank you so much. you know, probably here in southern california, the. archivist of the united states of america is not a household word. but let me tell you something. in our world here, he's a rock star. [ applause ]
david, you have been a guiding light, you have been an inspiration, you've been a visionary, you've been fair, you've been objective, you've kept this team on track and we thank you and your colleagues for everything that you did to bring this to fruition. thank you. [ applause ] you know, to put this in perspective, to all of you in the audience who know some of us perhaps but not many of us or maybe none of us who served in those days, so to put it in perspective, it was more than four decades ago, that those of us who were alumni served in the nixon administration. in some cases like dwight, it was five decades ago when you started serving richard nixon. we were fresh-faced, we were
enthusiastic. we really thought we could conquer the world. well, here we are four decades later. not so fresh faced anymore but we're still awfully enthusiastic and i will tell you this, we are so proud of the small part we have played along with our donors in creating this magnificent new library, the new exhibits which tell the story and the totality of the man who was a great president. [ applause ] the opportunity to be part of this enriched our lives because it reminded us it refreshed us on things we knew but you know, you sort of forget as you go through life for four decades.
we learned more about the opening to china, about the airlift that saved israel in 1973. about the ending of the segregation in the south, the ending of the war in vietnam. the ending of the draft. and the many other accomplishments. now, those of us who contributed, those of us who have served, we've been thanked, by tricia, by members of the family, and by others for our contributions. i will tell you this and it's important for all of you in this audience to understand this. i have talked to virtually every member of our alumni group and our donors and to a person, we feel this way. we accept your gratitude. but we feel the gratitude is reversed. we feel grateful to you, to your family, tricia, to your father.
ed, to your brother. christopher, to your grandfather. to give us this opportunity at these young ages, these responsibilities, this opportunity to serve our great nation. we feel that it's been an honor beyond anything we could have ever envisioned and we feel it is our responsibility now to tell you how grateful we are to him to richard nixon for everything he gave us. [ applause ] and furthermore, we feel a deep sense of honor to give something back to this great man who gave so much to us. we feel a deep sense of honor that whatever we do in terms of
contributions, of time, of treasure, of vision, of skills, pales by comparison to what he gave us and we are so grateful to have this opportunity to in a small way, start to repay this debt of honor to this great, great man. [ applause ] it is now my pleasure to introduce a great leader for our state and for our nation. he's a man who has been a mayor, the mayor of san diego. he's been a senator. he's been a governor. the last elected republican senator in the history of the state, maybe some day we'll see another one, but in every sense of the word, he has been a great leader for the state and a model for the nation, the honorable
pete wilson. [ applause ] well, thank you very much, fred. first for your outstanding leadership and second for your kind words. and i thank all of you. i'm used to smaller crowds. however, i'm mindful that there is a sun up there. if richard nixon were here today, he would say pete, not too long. you see, he had heard me before. ladies and gentlemen, i had the honor of knowing richard nixon, in fact, i was given the deep honor to be a eulogist for his
lovely beloved just remarkable pat. and for richard nixon himself. in 1962, when he decided that he would run for governor, i was a volunteer advance man for him. and we became friends forever after. now, what i will tell you, you've already heard but it's the reason that we are all here today. i thank you for being part of this massive crowd. richard nixon deserves it. more important -- [ applause ] >> more important, if he were here today, he would say it's important that people understand the obligation that we all have to do the kinds of things that will produce a better tomorrow. he was a conservative reformer. and an active one with
incredible energy and an indomitable spirit. you've heard that he has said i am not a quitter. he proved it time and again. when under stress, lesser men would have simply capitulated. not he. he was part of the greatest generation. born in 1913, he survived the bitter depression that engulfed america in the '30s. he worked tirelessly while going to school and worked as a student. a diligent student who earned honors as an undergraduate at whittier and at duke university law school. the most important thing to remember is that he did feel duty, duty he was part of the greatest generation that served as the veterans of world war ii
for five years in the south pacific. he was a united states naval officer. then he served, as you know, two years or excuse me, two terms in the congress in the house of representatives where he was a guardian of the country's safety and made headlines by his unrelenting pursuit of the soviet -- a soviet spy calling him what he was, alger hiss. [ applause ] and as -- as you've heard from tricia, he was on the herder commission studying whether or not the marshall plan was really achieving its full effectiveness. then when he ran michelle nunn he was not there long before he
was selected by general eisenhower, another great american hero who led us in world war ii and then led us when he was elected president, but he selected this young senator frr california, richard nixon, to be his running mate. and as it turned out, he chose very well because vice president nixon was one of the more active in our history. he worked closely on achieving the president's legislative programs in the congress with his former mates in the congress in the house and senate. and when in fact, a heart attack temporarily felled president eisenhower, it was he, richard nixon as vice president who chaired the cabinet meetings. this was a young man of obvious ability, of obvious concern for
his nation and someone who acted each day on that concern. and i said that he's a conservative reformer. he was. he brought about all kinds of change, tricia gave you a very good capsule of them. one of the first things was that not long in office, he and secretary sis king jer literally rescued the state of israel from very likely a conflict that might have ended the life of that nation. [ applause ] some years ago when i was on my first trip top israel, a friend, an israeli, said who do you think the most popular american president is in israel? he said, well, i'll tell you n.
[ applause ] >> and, of course, he also proved that he was at one in the same time a tough, very no-nonsense negotiator and someone willing to sit down and work with people who we didn't want as enemies, though they were not our friends. i'm talking of course about the first arms control treaty with the soviet union in which he made certain that american interests were protected at the same time working with allies and enemies alike to reduce the danger of nuclear weapons. [ applause ] and by the time i became mayor, he was president and we shared a
vision that government had grown a little top heavy in the united states and that we needed to restore some balance and move power nearer to those at the state and local levels of leadership. you can understand how a mayor would think that. but he did. and he didn't just give of it lip service, at a ceremony in independence hall, he signed the bill that created what he termed the new federalism, it was the general revenue sharing bill which transfers some $80 billion of federal funds away from washington to the state and local government. [ applause ] >> in fact, i remember being at that ceremony and i was asked to say a few words and i said, mr. president, if my clock is right, since you signed that i think you owe us some interest.
he said, be quiet and be grateful. and finally, you've heard that he felt that all americans deserved an equal opportunity. he didn't believe that we should give preferences on the basis of artificial accidents of birth. he thought that education was the latter of upward mobility, and in order to make certain that it was equally shared, that there was such opportunity, he quietly, without fan fare, went about desegregating the schools throughout the nation and notably in the south. and by the end of his first term, less than 8% of
african-american children were attending all black schools down from nearly 70% four years earlier. this was a man who walked the walk, not just talked the talk. [ applause ] >> ladies and gentlemen, i will simply say this. he was someone who knew the limits of human nature. he was someone who cherished the possible future for this country. he thought us the greatest country in the world not simply because we were a super power militarily, but because we were pointering the w pointing the way in terms of character, in terms of moral conduct for the rest of the world, for our allies and hopefully some that we could persuade to become allies. this is a man who deserved this
library, and it's -- [ applause ] >> it is, i think, what he would have hoped for because, in fact, it is honest, it is transparent, it makes clear what he made clear in his own words. that he felt at one time he had disappointed his country and the young people whom he hoped to see enter politics. but what i will say is that that took some guts as well as virtually almost everything else that he initiated. so this library, this museum that records the events of that spectacular life, will i predict be continued to be studied by scholars because this was a life worth living and god knows the
people who presumed to tell us what it was all about had better study it carefully and be as dispassionate and fair and honest in their judgment as was bill clinton at his funeral and as all of you are sitting here. [ applause ] >> because he had much to teach and much to give. and he never did quit not after 60 when he lost by raiser thin margin to jack kennedy. not two years later when he lost here in california, he didn't quit then. and, in fact, it was after that that it was pretty clear that he was going to help people get reelected in the '66 elections and then, by god, run for president again in '68. he didn't quit, he had an indom
mitt able will. and he did all that you've heard as president. when he did leave office, he was not quitting. he was resigning because he felt that it was clearly in the best interest of the country, a country that he had united and a country that was stronger for it. and god knows our party was. [ applause ] >> so let me thank you on his behalf, i presume do that, because i think i know he would be pleased with the product, with the video, with all of the exhibits, this is an extraordinary success from every point of view. but most importantly, he deserves it because it is honest and it tells exactly how a president should operate when faced with stress making decisions for the future of his country. but enough of that, i think you're about well done, so thank
[ applause ] ♪ saturday is earth day and we'll cover the march for science rally including speeches from scientists and civic organizers as well as musical performances. live from the national mall in washington, d.c. at 10:00 a.m. earn on our companion network c-span. this weekend on american history tv on c-span 3, saturday at 7:00 p.m. eastern georgia tech history professor gregory nobles about the influence of early 19th century orn thol
gift, natural gift, parent john james aud doe bon. >> they really admire his work, the artistic work of course but also his field work. he was very, very good at what did he and he did it with no binoculars, no field guides, no iphone apps, and the broof here i think is in the painting. >> and at eight:00 on lectures and history gettysburg college professor on abraham lincoln, his views on slavery and the dread scott u.s. supreme court decision. >> what is tony saying here? there is now no restraint, not even the restraint of popular sovereignty on taking slaves into the territories. >> sunday at 10:00 a.m. eastern. opening ceremony of the museum of revolution in philadelphia with speakers former vice president joe biden, horn and author david mccullough, museum's president and ceo
michael quinn and journalist and aujtor cokie roberts. >> it's my hope that this beautiful museum helps inspire you to become those active, involved citizens in this very great country because history has his eyes on you. >> and then at 8:00 on the presidency, author catherine sibly talks about first lady florence hard. >> she had been in the hospital, she had her kidneys operated on and she'd been in dire straits so she could relate to the kinds of things they were going through. it was interesting because out of this veteran's cause came the veteran's bureau. this was the first time the united states had a bureau, what we would call the va today. >> for our complete american history tv schedule go to c-span.org. now former white house staffers on richard nixon's life after he was president. we'll hear about the nixon-frost
interviews, president nixon's meetings in china and his memoir, this was hoeftd dollars by the richard nixon presidential library and museum in california. >> many of you will have at your place setting an envelope, and if you open the envelope you'll find a record or two that we were able to find about you when you served the president. and the staff that we have, a great staff inside the foundation, they had more fun and you would just imagine as they would uncover something in a document that links something, they'd say, wow, and you'd end up with the conversation around these documents. so i can only share with you that it was a great discovery process for our people and i think we are reproducing them for you to have at your tables as a little bit different. so we thought that would be fun. so -- [ applause ] >>s